Ground Fighting Strategies to Prevent Punches

Posted: July 5, 2013 by patrickasay in Uncategorized

The arm bar from open guard and the knee guard shield scissor sweep from guard. Also, distancing yourself from the opponent’s punches all the while controlling him along the way.

This is the way we teach the stuff in Applied Martial Arts and Asay Jiujitsu, and I have found these techniques to be very effective. This is NOT THE ONLY WAY to get the job done, for there are many great grapplers who may teach things differently than we do, but that does not mean their way is wrong at all. I just teach what I’m good at and don’t attempt to teach things I’m not good at…yet. So keep that in mind and have an open mind.


So remember, if you’re in any other bottom position than bottom guard, either sweep them from your inferior position to achieve a dominant top position…or pull guard.

One thing I want y’all’s opinion on is this: Do you think that developing a strong guard game is of a lesser importance, equal importance, or greater importance than developing (and spend most your energy on) an either strong maintenance of superior positions to set up submissions and/or learning sweeps from the bottom position instead of going into guard?

What are your thoughts?

By the way I LOVE OPEN GUARD!!! Even though staying on my knees I am more confident with my strong base that very few can sweep gives me a stronger opportunity to either pass their guard or sweep them from the kneeling position to gain a dominant top position. I still use my guard a lot because I think it is a very powerful position to set up great sweeps and submissions…and also to prevent punches!…as demonstrated in the video.

Patrick Asay

Applied Martial Arts/Asay Jiujitsu

  1. I think a principle of the guard worth mentioning here is the concept of range. To defend yourself in the guard from punches, you must either keep your opponent too close or too far away for punches to be very effective. The guy on the bottom cannot afford the luxury of simply laying on his back and focusing on keeping his opponent between his legs. He must either tie up an arm and the head and hug him tight or control a wrist and raise his hips to create distance and weight. When your opponent is in the Goldilocks Zone (not too close, not too far away, just right for punches) his strikes will be within range and have gravity behind them.

    I believe that with training, the guard can be as offensive or as defensive as you need it to be. It is a dynamic, counterintuitive position with lots of options. You just need to master controlling your opponent from that position. Once you do, you’ll have the flexibility to do pretty much whatever you need to do.

    • patrickasay says:

      One reason I did not bring up, or demonstrate, how to keep them too close so they cannot strike effectively is because I was kind of playing to my strength, which is open guard. In my game, I find it very difficult to keep them too close so they can’t hit me while staying in open guard. If I want them close to me so they cannot reach me to strike me, I play my closed guard.

      Now, I have found it effective when I’m playing butterfly guard to shoot an underhook in through his arm and hook over his shoulder, and perhaps hook his neck with the other hand (which works great in nogi!)…and that definitely keeps him too close to effectively strike, but I’m never laying down on my back when I play butterfly guard (I’m sitting down with my feet hooking his legs).

      So…I cannot think of a situation (and maybe I’m just not trained enough) to have some form of open guard and keep my opponent close enough to where I won’t be hit effectively. I usually need to keep the distance and control the opponent with solid legwork/footwork and good, effective grips. Otherwise, I go into closed guard and the option of keeping them close is definitely available…I just don’t like playing that game. To each his own, of course.


      patrick asay
      applied martial arts/asay jiujitsu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s